If you know anything about this little blog of mine, it should come as no surprise that he had me at, “standards of granularity.” Of course, as you may already know from my previous lauding, this is because Grant McCracken is the only man on the planet who gets me.  I’ll admit that Grant’s ability to tap into my consciousness holds limited and subjective importance in the grand scheme.  I (humbly) assure you that he has far more significant insights, too. For instance, this one on the new show Harry’s Law.

Since I no longer have cable, the show automatically fails to achieve my audience in its distribution and reach – content, be damned. But that’s an insight on shifting technologies. Grant’s musing considers the shift in cultural aesthetics and presentation over time.

His words could stimulate a whole evening of discussion on cultural hegemony, the formulaic articulation of a degenerative zeitgeist, and how the push of philanthropy-in-action by the everyday hero has shifted who can and what it means to make a difference.

And..if you’re buying the wine, I’m in on the discussion.

For Grant’s insightful blog post, in entirety –> Harry’s Law: flourish or fail?

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Ralph Lauren 4D Light Show

November 11, 2010

Event, spectacle + 4D.  It’s as if they’re reading my mind!  This is amazing to see from a cell phone video.  Imagine how incredible it must have been in-person.  BTW, the “4th” D was smell.

BTW, I haven’t disappeared.  I was just caught up in a 3-month kitchen + bath remodel that turned my world upside-down! I’ll get back to blogging soon.  So much has happened and so many things to consider!

EDITED TO ADD (It’s happening in NYC next Wednesday My bad…it was yesterday! Damn it!):

Ralph Lauren to Stage “4D” Visual Spectacle on Madison Avenue

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of its $200-million-per-year U.S. e-commerce business and the launch of its e-commerce site in the UK, Ralph Lauren is staging a “four-dimensional” light installation on Wednesday night at its flagship locations in New York and London. Read the rest of this entry »

Yep, I got to hold the medal. (And it was more of a kick than I expected it to be!)

If you read my blog post on the Coupe de Monde of Fencing last week, you’ll understand why I’m posting the piece (link below) by Tim Morehouse. Tim is the #1 ranked men’s sabre fencer in the U.S. (14th world, I believe), two-time Olympian, and Olympic Silver Medalist (2008 Beijing, Team). His determination to open the floodgates of interest in the sport through increased public participation and branded corporate sponsorship is something I’ve been watching for about 3 years; and, it is unwavering.

Admittedly, with many years in luxury brand management, I’ve tried to do my part for the cause by alerting several of my luxebrand exec-friends to Tim’s cause – passively beating them over the head with “Hey! Watch Tim! Just sayin’…”, but budgets have been slashed. Empathetic to the difficult measures many have needed to consider during these tough economic times – laying-off several quality members of their respective teams, I’ve merely attempted to keep Tim on their radar. Even my most senior friends (EVP/SVP) are required to justify anything beyond their standard placement of marketing dollars.  IF sponsorship has been fit into the [marketing] mix, it’s mostly for the big events — like the Veuve Cliquot Polo Classic (Prince Harry offered a TON of press, of course).  I dig the situation on both sides. My goal has simply been to plant some seeds. You never know when budgets may be shifted to “try something new.” While the luxury market remains soft, recent reports are showing signs of optimism.

The dip in the luxury manufacturing was the opportunity that prompted me to shift my focus/place under the branding umbrella, moving from management + execution to brand conception, platform development + strategy. Literally, as I stepped out of the luxury scene, Tim arrived.

My part 2 of 2 blog post will go a little further into how Tim’s journey has evolved; and why, as a brand and marketing professional, it caught my attention.

Please visit Tim’s (prolific) blog to read his take:

Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic 2010: The Sport of Polo Continues to Outshine Fencing (For No Good Reason!)

Bud Caddell is a change-maker and a cultural curator.

I forget how I first came across Bud on Twitter, but I had already been following him by the time I had the opportunity to chat with him in person at Grant McCracken’s Chief Culture Officer Boot Camp. Bud’s a wicked-smart, culturally-aware, and downright talented man who authors one of my favorite reads on this here Internets – What Consumes Me. It’s an aptly named blog for the curiosity that drives Bud. That curiosity is what consumes me, too. I have flipped my life on its head because of that curiosity. And based on the number of people I’ve surrounded myself with lately who also seem to have caught this bug, I am incredibly bullish on supporting Bud’s new project: The Bucket Brigade.

The Bucket Brigade is the formal proposal for a new book Bud will pen with contributions and support through the micro-funding site, Kickstarter. My excitement over the work Fred Benenson (another of my connections) and the industrious crew at Kickstarter is an whole ‘nuther blog post.  Today, it’s about Mr. Bud Caddell.  The basic idea behind is project is this: Read the rest of this entry »

This post is NOT about fencing…per se.  It is about opportunity, marketing + promotion, branding, shifting paradigms, self-promotion, ambassadorship, achievement, influence, sacrifice, and a little philanthropy. Oh, and an elite fraternity of (rather handsome) men and (beautiful, kick-ass) women.

Last weekend, the Coupe du Monde (World Cup) of Fencing was held in New York City; Brooklyn, to be exact.  I wasn’t able to attend the entire weekend-long event, but I was able to spend several hours on Saturday watching the Men’s Sabre Finals and the Women’s Direct Elimination (DE) Sabre bouts. For me, it was an incredible opportunity to see the top sabre fencers from around the world compete in my backyard.

Steve Mormando (my coach), Dagmara Wozniak (seated) + Daria Schneider (on strip)

While I have only been fencing for a few years, I have been blessed to hold incredible proximity and association to these world-class athletes whom I respect and admire, and whose influence and mentorship inspire my journey in ways that they are largely unaware. Peter Westbrook, Steve Mormando (my coach), Tim Morehouse, Jason Rogers, Keeth and Erinn Smart, Dagmara (“Daga”) Wozniak, Daria Schneider and Mariel Zagunis have all touched my life in some way.  The privilege to watch them perform in this hemisphere and on this side of Greenwich Mean Time was a rarity and a treat.

But as I said, this post isn’t about fencing…really.

Opportunity is knocking down the damn door. Can somebody please answer it?

I have been to my share of fencing tournaments. For a sport that triggers association with attributes like chivalry and elegance, the reality of the event, itself, is decidedly neither of these. When en garde is demanded by a referee at the commencement of a bout, indeed, chivalry and elegance serve as the standard to which all most fencers engage their opponent. But most tournaments are unglamorous, sweaty, hurry-up-and-wait, eat-when-you-can, multiple day happenings. I don’t know why, but I expected to see at least some level of elevation at this event. Read the rest of this entry »

FENCING BASICS: A wonderful overview of everything from the equipment and environment of fencing to a breakdown of the rules and techniques from two-time Olympic Gold Medalist (2004/2008) Mariel Zagunis.

Many of you have been curious about fencing, but find it overwhelming. Some of you have even been so brave to try it! Bravo! I’ve fallen in love with it, and occasionally put some of these videos up to help those of you who are curious to understand the sport better.

I agree, it is a complicated sport. Imagine jumping in as a newbie at the National level of competition! Even completely immersed and supported by my wonderfully empathetic teammates, I was lost for the first year. One of the major barriers to the sport is a lack of information afforded to the interested adult participant or spectator.

Most competitive fencers start fencing between 8-14 years of age. Learning is layered over time. The opportunity to advance the sport is really in the 26-45 age group. Adults learn differently than kids, but most fencing clubs (and arguably the fencing community, as a whole) remain kid-centric.

Enjoy!

Updating Website

June 2, 2010

Hello!  If you’ve landed here because you’re somehow curious about sheilagermain.com, fear not!  You are in the right place…kind of.  Actually, consider it the on-deck circle.

The website is not my blog.  But the blog will (hopefully) be one of the most active parts of my website.  I am in the throws of creating a whole new environment for sheilagermain.com. I’m in the finishing phase right now and linking things to other things and making sure all of the bells and whistles do the appropriate dinging and chirping.

Thanks for your interest, patience and understanding!  Construction is always a challenge, but generally pretty rewarding.

Here’s a preview:

It's the landing page. Spiffy, right?